Light & Motion Vis 360 and Vis 180 Light Review

Lights Shootout

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Reviewed by Brian Mullin http://www.gramslightbikes.com/

The Light & Motion Vis 360 and Vis 180 commuter lights are pretty amazing, since they are self contained system’s, which are light, easy to use, with great mounting system’s, are reasonably priced and have some innovative features, the foremost being the safety oriented side visibility. The Vis 180 is a one piece rear light who attaches to a seatpost or pack, while the helmet based Vis 360 is a two piece unit, comprised of a rear light containing the battery, and the front unit, which is attached via an umbilical cord. Both lights share one basic, and incredibly innovate and safety oriented feature, which is a small and distinctive side amber LED.

The lights have seductive lines, a gorgeous bronze tone, carefully thought out feature placements and charismatic industrial design work via the infamous Roxy Lo of Ibis Mojo fame. They were designed and built in Monterrey California by Light & Motion, whom have been doing lights for over 20 years, for both mountain biking and underwater lighting. The Vis 180 and the front Vis 360 are CNC machined aluminum casing, while the rear Vis 360 is plastic, and everything has a solid build quality throughout. They use LED’s from Cree, and Lithium-ion polymer batteries, with waterproof lights and connectors.

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My friend Roxy Lo did the design work on both units, and the colors, fit and finish, and seductive lines are synonymous with her work, and remind me very much of Italian flair (massive complement). I asked her to chime in with some tidbits on her involvement with the Vis 360 and Vis 180, and I was certainly overwhelmed with the in depth and complex world of industrial design!

“Roxy Lo Design Studios offered industrial design guidance through the entire process. From concept and idea generation for product lines and specific use modes, my job was to inspire growth and innovation through the company’s core competencies and strengths. I try to enrich the design process by being an integral part of the team, working with the product engineers, offering packaging and color/material direction and paying strict attention to maintaining design details throughout the production and testing process, until the final release to the consumer. In that sense, I am integrated within their team. From understanding sales and their distributor’s needs to making a great product for the end user, I really try to become the customer, by actively engaging core and expert users, novices and scanning the market for innovations or inspiration that can help the product be better. We live in a fast paced world, but well designed items should be timeless. Through a thoughtful and collaborative process, we constantly generate ideas that address technical attributes and aesthetics at the same time.”

“We really wanted to rethink the whole flashlight on the top of the head look. Since we are able to use some of the most advanced LED’s in the industry, and have the ability to cast metal for heat shielding, and create smaller shapes with LiPo batteries, etc. We visually showcased that innovation by splitting the light into two for the Vis360. The ability to introduce white front lights, side amber lights and rear red blinky into the 360 was really great, and giving it a sleek profile that didn’t give it a geeky look was the goal. The 180 taillight was also fun to develop because we wanted to utilize something that was tall and skinny, and jam pack it with sleek looks and multiple mounting locations. I’m really big on authenticity and the touch and feel of an object is important. When you hold the lights in your hand, you can see that there is a lot of design detail that went into it.”

“In developing the commuter line, the entire team interviewed cycling commuters of all types, observed cyclists that commuted and realized that there was also a class of growing casual commuters. In this respect, I felt safety was a big issue that these lights could potentially address as well. What better way to be noticed by motorists and other cyclists than to have a helmet mounted head and tail light. See and be seen. These lights are meant to help you stand out, both visually and in the marketplace, so hopefully, the design efforts will entice people to try these out and to use them for their daily commute.”

Next » The Lights in detail

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About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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